Our recently published Annual Report looks back at some of Ecas’s greatest hits from April 2019 to March 2020. Here are a few of the highlights:
- In November 2019, the Ecas AGM Showcase allowed us to highlight the work of Ecas and our group activity members. We enjoyed the wonderful talent on display in the Art and Craft Exhibition and Sale.
- At our AGM, our Music for Fun group performed a hilarious cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” renamed “Wheels on Fire”. We enjoyed readings from the Reading and Creative Writing group and a beautiful performance from our Seated Tai Chi, Meditation and Relaxation group.
- In January 2020, following two years of research, we launched our Young People’s Service. Our Outreach Officer Megan Hood is shaping the service to help physically disabled adults aged 18 to 30 realise their potential.
- Our Reading and Creative Writing group enjoyed a visit from author Mary Paulson-Ellis to discuss her debut novel and her writing process.
- Our intrepid art group members visited Jupiter Artland sculpture park.
As the Covid-19 situation escalated in March of 2020, Ecas adapted the way we work to support those accessing our services. We’d like to share some of the things we did:
- Group Activities. From the 16th of March 2020, we suspended all activities (except for Reading and Creative Writing which continued via email). By August, our activities returned virtually for existing members. Our staff worked hard behind the scenes to help clients get set up for video calls. We provided IT support, delivered art and craft materials to people’s homes, and offered training on how to use Zoom. Since then, we have been able to reopen activities to new members.
- Befriending. In-person befriending was suspended in March 2020 but the majority of our matches transitioned to telephone or video calls. The service is now open to new referrals.
- Grants Fund. Receiving Government funding support through the furlough scheme enabled us to reintroduce the fund from November after it was suspended in March. Current financial projections dictate the fund be suspended again from April 2021, with a return when our financial position allows.
- Young People’s Service. In September, our Outreach Officer returned from furlough. We are delighted to have the support of the Vice Convener of Education, Children and Families who has instructed council officers to inform secondary schools of the service and encourage referrals for those who are eligible. The service is operating virtually until Covid-19 restrictions are eased.
We will continue to adapt our services where necessary and we hope it’s not too long before we get back some normality!